Every minute, 47,000 apps are downloaded around the world, but millions of Australians are missing out if the apps are not accessible.
Four winning apps in Australia’s only accessible mobile apps competition, The Apps for all Challenge are making a difference.
The challenge is run by the Communications Action Network (ACCAN) to draw attention to the benefits of including digital accessibility in software development.
Winners were judged on accessibility, which means that an app can be used by the most people possible without the need for modification. Apps in the challenge were also judged on ease of use, market gap, value for money, universal design and availability.
And the winners are…
The NRS app – National Relay Services
Most innovative app designed for people with disability
A world first app that allows people who are deaf or have hearing or speech impairment to use their phone through a range of relay calls and other support functions.
The free app allows users to make a range of different calls – internet relay, speak and listen, video relay and web based caption relay – all from their Apple or Android smartphone.
It can send your location to services such as taxis and make simple commands and quick phrases that will be inserted as text into your call and read to the person you are calling.
Most accessible children’s app
Thread gives parents contact with their children when they are not in a supervised environment but allows children to learn about being independent.
Children can check in with their parents at pre set deadlines or send updates when they need to – and if no one responds their last known location is sent to their nominated contact. It also has a personal safety alarm and allows kids to send photos to their parents at any time.
Rapidtap – 22 Point
Most Accessible game app
A short, fast pace game that tests response time with different levels of difficulty.
RentRight – Consumer Affairs Victoria
Most accessible mainstream app
A free smart phone app that has information and tools to help landlords in Victoria manage their properties and renters to manage their tenancies. It allows renters to send template emails on issues such as repairs, get information about their rights and responsibilities and even has a moving in cost calculator.
ACCAN said accessibility is not only crucial for the one in five Australians with a disability but means developers can target millions more customers who were previously locked out of the app market and not catered for.
“Smartphones and tablets are a huge part of our everyday lives; no consumers should be left out of the digital revolution as the world becomes increasingly mobile,” CEO Teresa Corbin said.
Great work from all the winners and ACCAN on making the digital world accessible to all. Can’t wait for next year’s!